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  • Writer's pictureKathy Ozakovic

What a Dietitian & Wellness Coach Eats in a Day

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Ever wonder what your Dietitian & Wellness Coach eats? I've had a few people ask. Here I give you insight into why I do what I do. Keep reading to find out how I apply my scientific knowledge to fuel my body, mind and spirit. I am my first and most important client.

Firstly, I want to highlight none of this happened over night. I am always progressing. I strive for Continuous Improvement across all aspects of Wellness (Read about The 6 Pillars To Wellness I believe in). Now I know better, I can do better. It's my choice to always strive for progress. Growth is important to me.


I grew up eating 1-2 mountain bowls of corn flakes after athletics. I remember loving white fluffy bread, butter and 'pasteta' (a Croatian chicken liver pate) during the summer months spent all day in the Adriatic Sea. I also remember being cheeky and climbing over fences (never alone, always with my best friend Nela) into peoples properties to pick peaches, cherries and figs until we felt sick. I still remember the sweet smell of homegrown fruit across the neighborhood. We sourced our vegetables from our neighbors too. If it wasn't form the neighbors, we'd go to the local markets. All the produce homegrown in front yards and backyards, or on nearby country properties.


When we moved back to Australia, everything changed. Our fruit and vegetable intake plummeted. Our meat intake increased. It wasn't until years later I had become health conscious and started changing what I eat. This was well after battling with the Eating Disorder. During recovery. I was learning. In that learning, I had begun to eat differently from my family. I stuck to it and kept improving my eating habits. Now, I heavily promote the below principles to my family. In fact, mum and dad have adopted many of these principles which has helped them improve their health. Probably added years to their life. When I visit them I choose to be responsible for my food intake. I don't expect them to provide the amount or colourful vegetables I strive to consume. Instead, I help out and make sure they have the option too.


I was that person... Avoiding fruit because I read somewhere that it has too much sugar, avoiding wholegrains because I read somewhere that carbs make you fat, counting my 14 almonds, avoiding chocolate, no carbs after 5pm, fasting for longer than necessary, practicing extreme willpower then binging. My diet used to be very bland, boring and repetitive. My eating habits used to be fearful and scarce. I stuck to the same few foods and never ventured out of these... How times have changes now that I understand Gut Health.

When it comes to what I eat:

I practice everything I preach and individualise it to my circumstances, my goals, my season in life. This is why what I eat is not relevant to anyone else beyond the “I practice what I preach” What do I mean by “I practice what I preach and individualise it” I follow the Australian Guide To Healthy Eating and a Mediterranean dietary pattern as these are scientifically backed to reduce the risk of disease, keep you healthy and live a long, fulfilled life, given you’re also working on the other aspects of wellness. I follow the same Gut Health recommendations that I share with clients and groups through education sessions. In fact, following the AGTHE and a Mediterranean dietary pattern of eating will tick boxes for Gut Health.

So what does this look like for a Wellness Weapon and Athlete (me):

  • I eat 4 meals a day at regular times

  • I choose Wholefoods (I like to call them 'real foods')

  • I eat 2-3 fruit and 5-6 vegetables daily (as per the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating)

  • I vary my fruit and vegetables and plant based foods weekly (Gut Health principle)

  • I focus on plant dominant eating (Gut Health principle)

  • I eat whole grains that suit my individual requirements (sometimes like a baby cow, sometimes half a kilogram of pasta and a kilogram of potatoes in one sitting, sometimes like an average person - I cycle my carbs for sports performance)

  • I vary my whole grains and carbohydrates between: oats, black rice, red rice, white rice, sweet potato, white potato, sorghum, buckwheat, sourdough bread/wraps

  • I eat fish, chicken, turkey and eggs sometimes (that’s right, sometimes)

  • I eat a variety of beans, legumes and lentils and tofu

  • I very extremely rarely eat red meat

  • I use minimally processed dressings: extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, coconut aminos

  • I don’t even cook with oil - I only use it occasionally as a dressing. I get my fats from a variety of nuts, seeds, 100% nut/ seed butters, avocados.

  • I choose to eat dairy free

What's a 'real food'?

Anything that grows on a tree, in the ground, on a shrub, was once running or swimming around. As minimally processed as possible!



Being a high performing individual also means: I need slightly more protein - so I use a plant based minimally processed no additives no preservative protein powder. I get through my vitamin and mineral stores sooner than the average person - so I use high quality supplements from Metagenics (Vitamin D, Magnesium, Omega 3s). I supplement with mushroom powders proven to help the nervous system optimise stress response. I use supplements to support my adrenal glands optimise stress response.


Personal past medical history to consider: I have a family and personal history of high cholesterol and deranged liver enzymes despite never being a drinker (and lots of other stuff that comes with repressed emotions) ... Okay, there was that one time I got ridiculously drunk at my 21st, mum had to come home to nurse me all night saying “shut up and sleep” and never again did I drink... So, given my personal history and family patterns, I use supplements to support my liver, kidneys, gut when I feel there are shifts and changes in my life - letting go of what no longer serves me and creating new beliefs. Supporting the Neuroplasticity of my brain and gut.

Facts:

  • Mediterranean dietary pattern says red meat is eaten monthly

  • The carnivore diet is a myth, we always survived on plants ( 1 in every 20 hunts for meat was actually successful. Back then we ate 150g fibre daily, nowadays the average person gets 25g fibre)

  • Your gut bugs thrive fibre from a variety of plants


Other eating habits I personally find helpful:

I make time to handwrite a grocery list and go grocery shopping

I meal prep for the week (twice in the week, batches of vegetables and rice)

Frozen is just as good as fresh - I use a variety of frozen fruit and vegetables (cheap)

I buy what's in season (this habit started because it is in fact the cheapest at the stores) I set aside screens during meal times (no laptop, no phone, I have no TV by choice) I reflect on my day at dinner (my successes and challenges, how can I get better) I drink 1 Litre of water before breakfast, 3-4 x 400ml cups of herbal tea and additional water with my supplements making up about 3 - 3.5L water daily


My relationship with coffee & caffeine has recently changed I choose to drink coffee occasionally. If you had asked me 6 months ago would I ever not drink coffee - I’d probably laugh in your face. I probably have done this in the past to some friends (sorry). Now I know better, I can do better. I reflected on the last 5 years of my life and realised there was not a day I haven’t had a coffee, be it instant or barista. I have been living life with a minimum of 200mg caffeine constantly circulating in my system. Most recently, when my coffee intake crept up it made me think about sleep, caffeine, energy levels, micronutrient absorption and my own habits. Being the science nerd I am, I even did the caffeine calculations and overestimated the half life of caffeine to be 8 hours (it's anywhere between 5 - 8 hours depending on a few things, I'll get into that another time!)


I went from

4 coffees/day to

3 coffees/day to

2 coffees/day to

1 coffee and 1 black tea (caffeine withdrawals kicked in) to

1 black tea/day to

Herbal teas


Making sure caffeine is out of my system. Now, I choose to use caffeine as a sports performance enhancer as opposed to a mood and energy enhancer. Occasionally, I will enjoy a barista made coffee and this is why I am extremely picky with the beans. I have spent enough years drinking coffee, getting to know the varieties that I know which one I really like and enjoy.


Now, I typically go 1 day 'on coffee' (2 shots max) followed by 1 day black tea and 3 days off caffeine. Drinking herbal teas, chicory root and water on my 'days off caffeine'. This is the 'formula' I have learnt helps my body clear caffeine and return to natural energy levels with ease. I keep an accountability chart on my fridge where I mark my coffee and black tea intake, and 3 days I draw a smiley face representing my 'days off caffeine'. Otherwise, I'd forget! Bonus: I now have the experience to help guide others who want to cycle their caffeine intake. Through trial, error and correction you too can find your 'formula'.


Practicing what I preach also means I avoid ultra processed foods and am very picky about processed foods

If I consume processed foods, I make sure I understand the ingredients list and avoid man made (synthetic) additives, preservatives, stabalisers, colourings, artificial sweeteners as most have been shown to in some way impact gut health (ever wonder why it says 'may have laxative effect' on the packaging... its affecting your gut health somehow, good or bad - we cant really know).

The most processed foods in my house right now that I eat occasionally: Bread and Lindt excellence chocolate. I look forward to the day I learn and commit to making my own bread. Not my priority right now. This will be that next step for me!


Sometimes Sure, there are days I eat rice puffs for dinner with a protein shake and a tablespoon of 5 nut/seed wellness road spread (key: carbs and protein and fats) and that happens once every 3 months, if that… I reflect on why it happened and make sure I am not in that position again. Sometimes, it is a conscious decision keeping in mind that eating like that every night will not help me progress towards my mind, body and spiritual goals.


I go out to eat at cafe's occasionally. I find it easier to make healthy choices at lunch/brunch meals. Restaurants never give me enough carbs and vegetables. Do I ever indulge in the fried potatoes? Yes. I need my carbs. I eat likely a baby cow sometimes and will absolutely have a side of fries, sometimes. I prefer my own air fried potatoes as I know they haven't been deep fried in reused, processed oils.


Oh and I don't eat 'pasteta' anymore since reading the ingredients list... I've created my own healthy alternative! Check out the recipes section of my website.


The Bottom Line

I practice what I preach, and nothing else is relevant to you. We all have different circumstances to adapt to and work with. Different goals to achieve. Different visions of our healthiest and best self.


It takes time to make changes

It takes awareness of current habits and commitment to creating change

It takes understanding, knowledge building

Always progressing and Continuous Improvement

Eating habits are affected by a HUGE number of things! Availability, cost, environment, family beliefs, religious beliefs, nutrition knowledge...

Having someone who has been through those changes, understands the challenges that may arise help guide you can be of great service to you

Book your free discovery call today

Better Yet, book your Initial Consultation


Start YOUR wellness journey

Let me be the bridge between where you are and where you want to be






Did you find this blog helpful and informative? Tag & Share with your friends who would love it too! Sign up for my Free NuFit Wellness Newsletter to stay in the loop. Attend my Wellness Workshops. I help clients Achieve & Maintain Wellness through Nutrition for Gut Health so that they can thrive in life. Wellness Dietitian & Holistic Nutritionist, Health Coach, Health Presenter, Gut Health Specialist - Kathy Ozakovic.

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